For Raw, they did a really good job of not only building up new rivalries for the upcoming Great Balls of Fire PPV, but they also added new aspects to current rivalries that they have. They helped develop a new rivalry with Finn Balor and Elias Samson and they built up new things with the Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman rivalry by having them face off in an Ambulance Match at the PPV as well as enhancing the Miz vs. Dean Ambrose rivalry by adding the “Entourage” for the Miz with Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel by his side. Overall, the best moment on this show though was Braun Strowman coming back. Strowman was supposed to be out six months but came back in about two months and now has completely thrown a twist in Roman Reigns getting a Universal Championship match at Summerslam.
For Smackdown, the ending of the show was fantastic. They built up throughout the show that Randy Orton was furious after losing at Money in the Bank and that he would do anything to get his hands on Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers. When the show was about to close, Orton came out and absolutely cleared house and beat up all of them. The program between Mahal and Orton is starting to get better as time passes and it is finally starting to make the WWE championship feel more important since Mahal has had it.
For Raw, they looked lost with the women’s division currently. They tried having a match between Nia Jax and Sasha Banks, but this led to a DQ because basically the entire women’s roster decided to come out and brawl. Now, while I do not have a problem with brawls on these shows, there needs to be reason behind it and I feel like this brawl happened just because. There wasn’t really any meaning behind it and hopefully they can figure something out before the PPV.
For Smackdown, while I understand the controversy surrounding Carmella winning the first ever Women’s in the Bank ladder match by having Ellsworth grab it for her, I do not agree with the decision to have a rematch for the briefcase next week. Carmella seemed to get a lot of heat from the crowd with her opening promo and they should’ve kept the briefcase on her instead of stripping her of it. I know that Ellsworth did tarnish the history that could’ve been with the women’s ladder match, but that doesn’t mean that just try again and hopefully get the result right this time. If anything, they should’ve have Carmella have to defend the briefcase against people.
The Final Verdict
Raw really needed to redeem themselves after last week and they definitely did that this week. Smackdown was coming off a very poor PPV with Money in the Bank and needed to come back with a good follow up show and they were able to deliver as well. Overall though, I will have to give this week to Raw because they hit all the right buttons this week. They finally revealed who was attacking Enzo, which ended up being Big Cass who put on a great promo explaining why he did it which was a great way to close the show. They also had Braun Strowman come back, which the show desperately needed. Lastly, they gave the Miz an “Entourage” which will give him more heel heat and will definitely help him become more of a threat for a potential Universal Championship run for the future. In conclusion, both shows were great this week, but Raw was able to top Smackdown this week because of unforgettable moments such as Strowman coming back and the eventual breakup of Enzo and Cass.